September 13th 2020
Do you keep the shades drawn on a day like today? I don't think so (have you heard Clem Snides new album? Forever Just Beyond? it's damn good). Should I be doing something more productuve with my life? It nags me. I take a breath, and for the last week every breath I take, brings smoke into my healthy, 55 year old, pink, lungs. You can't get away from it, the smoke, the fire, the Hell State Of Things. Driving to work all week has been like navigating Dante's Inferno. The State Of Things.
Fire is in the hills around us, not close enough for Amber, Gordon, and I to evacuate. Close enough for folks around here to pack a bag, and I want to ignore it all. Looking out the window, and watching the news tears at my want to ignore (ignorant). No, not us, it could never happen to us. Sure those flames are in the hills around us, but a long way away.......right? We don't pack a bag. The fire is far away in the hills, but the smoke is here. It just hangs like Greg Turner at my first apartment, he who had no friends, no where else to be.
I'm off in my own head, and thinking about writing music for strings. Sure, I can write a little symphony. Oh and I'll sing behind it. A whole new album of songs with just strings and me singing. I tip my reading glasses up on my forehead and think of the possibilities. Then I lose focus and get bored.
This morning I'm making a mix tape on my reel to reel deck. I enjoy making tapes. I think it's all I want to do this morning. I've been accumulating some instrumental albums and yes some have strings. I want a tape for morning listening. Like today before my wife wakes, just sitting with my dog, writing on my little website, listening, coffee drinking. In moments like this I will water and tend to the house plants.It's at times like these, when I'm tending things, that I feel content, like this is all I need. Garden, care for something, tend things without expectations, foster peace in my mind.
Now I tip my readers back again, and I'm off in my minds eye. In that eye I see myself in a suit, and sitting behind a piano. I'm playing with a little orchestra and everyone is amazed. Then I picture myself with a big, gray beard, and Einstein hair. I'm a composer now, leading an orchestra. Playing brilliant songs that this high school graduate, with no musical training has composed. I am revered, and loved, and admired. Then I come back to reality, slide my glasses back over my eyes, and write it all down.
And the fire is out there. The smoke is here. I've opened the blinds. With every breath I take.......................
JULY 4TH 2020 happy 4th of July!
Not being able to play shows gives me a chance to feel what it would be like to quit playing live. Gives me a chance to give a trial ride for laying that all down. You know, trying to make something of it all, trying to achieve some status, trying to keep all the eyes on me. I think I'm already letting some of that go. I mean I'm 55. The thought reoccures to me, "it's over". To a certain extent it is, but then again it is not.
I've started working on some stuff here at home. Working on recording new material with Brandi Starbird. She handling the viola and background vocals. We recorded three new songs last weekend. At this point I'm calling them demo's, but maybe it will be called a real album at some point. Any way we're having fun.
May 7th 2020
Coffee is good and is killing me. I snuggle up to it, hold it in both hands. I praise it, encourage it along. I can feel it eating away at my insides, weakening me, destroying me softly. I love the smell of my murderer. It makes me feel so good and is killing me. Doctor take anything you want from me, but not my coffee. Let it kill me slowly. Isn't everything killing me anyway? If not coffee, what be it? What be my murderer? Other things were killing me too fast. Taking all in an avalanch of despair. This murderer coffee, will not take me to jail, or other morally bankrupt places. Coffee still loves me and shows it in the first drink. Not a sip, but a desperate gulp. That's why I let the poison cool. Then I can take a big mouthful. Feel the love go down, and rise at your best. It makes so many promises, and then, the grand plans can begin forming, as the ground beans go to work. It Just Kills Me.
The show on the left (UN / ROOTED) was canceled. Canceled because of the virus. This is a story of restraint.
About a month ago myself, Dao Strom, and Danielle Frandina met at The Chapel Theater. All three of us were excited for the show, all three of us contributed time, effort, and money to put the show together. On that day I could tell the news of the virus was weighing on Dao, and Danielle. I could tell the show was in jeopardy, and I didn't like it. We left the meeting hoping for the best, and a "lets wait and see what happens" kind of attitude.
Within two days that NBA player announced he was positive for the virus, and people started buying toilet paper, and the hysteria was in full swing. Then one of the performers canceled. It was the beginning of the end for the show. I felt defiant, unafraid, and angry. I expressed my feelings that the show must go on, and we should not give in to the fear. My views were considered, but ultimately majority ruled, and we canceled the show. I have a lot of respect for Dao, Danielle and all the performers. I bit my tongue, and tried to keep my passive aggressive nature at a minimum (you'll have to ask them how I did).
That night I started having these thoughts, and bad ideas. I thought I might try and ask the venue if I could put together another show, and salvage that date. I knew how I'd show all those pansies, how I'd show that fear driven, hysterical bunch of folks. I would have a show and call it "I'm not afraid of the virus" show. I hoped that Dao and Danielle would see the show on facebook, and know that I wasn't afraid, and I was not going to be told what to do. I would stand steely eyed and look this god forsaken virus right in the eye. Spitting unflinching right in its face. Then I would post on facebook how I was going to play a show with my band GRAND HEAD on friday night, and I was going to go out to lunch with my nephew, and the rest of my family (my 77 year old mother included.) Then all of us were going to the movies. I hoped the message would be clear : I'm not weak, I'm strong. I'm right, you're wrong.
This is where the restraint comes in. Instead of doing any of those selfish, childish, inconsiderate careless things, I just went to bed. Maybe I'd get to it tomorrow. In the morning I got up for work, and still felt disappointed. The fire had cooled a bit though, and I intuitively felt I needed to keep quiet. i had a little more of a grasp. Then, as sanity cam back, things started to happen.
I was listening to the radio that morning and heard that the NBA player that tested positive had been making a big joke of the virus. He'd been touching all the reporters microphones, and, well, trying to look the virus in the eye and spit in its face. Now he looked like a real jackass. I thought man that's me, I'm that jackass. Then the show I was going to brag about playing (GRAND HEAD) was canceled. Then my nephews birthday plans got canceled (he's in Washington). What was I trying to prove? What if somehow my behavior ended causing someone to get the virus? How about giving my own mother the virus? Not feeling like much of a tough guy now. The lesson started to take hold, and I was glad somehow I found some self restraint. There's a great saying it goes: You're responsible for your second thought and your first action.
The show will be rescheduled and all will be good. I hope to see you there.
On March 21st I'll team up with Dao Strom for the above mixed media show. The concept started as writers who also play music. Then it grew to having writers collaborate with musicians. And now it settles on a little hodge podge of everything.
I will be playing a new song and reading selected parts of "Uncle" from my book. Dao (who helped me edit the book) will also do a selection of reading and a song. We going to try and overlay each other and also add texture to each others readings. Looking forward to the whole night. Please come out and support the art at this neighborhood venue.
January 25th 2020
I've spent the last year (or more) as a duo. Brandi Starbird and I are working on a new album together. She lives walking distance from my house. With my guitar in tow I walk to her house and we practice. Her husband (Nolan Void) is very accommodating. We have a show coming up on Feb. 14th. We will be opening for some rock and roll. Never know how that will go.
I had to change to a different website host. Getting that all done is something I dread. I thought about just getting rid of it. Maybe just going with a bandcamp page. Well I've paid for a year. So I'll try and keep this going for another year.
Most of last year was spent writting new material. I think I have a real interesting new batch of songs. I 've also spent much time with my record lathe. I'm cutting records for people all over the world. Check it out. Gorbie Lathe Cuts